A rebuilding year for conservatives in Massachusetts
By: Christine Morabito – November, 2010
I write this column with a heavy heart as conservatives across the state begin a painful recovery process. I won’t pretend that I’m not incredibly disappointed in the Massachusetts election results and just as surprised. But, the way I see it, we have two choices: to stick our head in the oven or to dust ourselves off and childishly proclaim: “That didn’t hurt!”
Although we lost every major State and Congressional race, conservatives more than doubled their seats in the State House, which is pretty darned impressive! We should be very proud of our Merrimack Valley guys, Jim Lyons and Paul Adams, who won their races offering our area some great representation. I’m particularly proud of Taunton’s Shaunna O’Connell, who won a knock-down-drag-out race with the despicable incumbent Representative, James Fagan. He’s the defense attorney who opposed toughening Jessica’s Law, stating he would put child sexual abuse victims on the stand and “rip them apart.” On Election Day, Fagan told O’Connell’s husband to crawl back into the hole where he came from. Nice guy, huh?
Ok, so some really abhorrent candidates got reelected. No one ever said this would be easy. Those of us new to politics were astonished by how ugly, sleazy and demoralizing things can get when you challenge incumbent politicians. Definitely not for the squeamish. Even though we sustained many losses, we can take comfort in the fact that we scared the bejesus out of some entrenched politicians and caused them to spend a considerable amount of time and money campaigning–time and money that could easily have been spent advancing additional job and freedom-killing legislation.
I’m trying to make sense of the fact that we just reelected a tax cheat to Auditor; the husband of a money launderer to Congress; the architect of the housing collapse to Congress; and a man indifferent to the plight of the endangered Massachusetts businessman to Governor. Either liberals in this state are spectacularly naïve or Massachusetts is so ethically challenged as to have a high tolerance for ridiculism.
The Tea Party grew quite fond of our local candidates who we spent countless hours promoting, writing about, making phone calls for and donating money to. We had a fantastic crop of candidates who will hopefully not be strangers. Haverhill resident and Tea Partier, Marilyn Luther told me that it was the first time she had cast a ballot where she had at least met, and in some cases personally knew, every candidate she was voting for. How many voters can say that? We’ve now spent almost 2 years promoting conservative candidates. With all that experience, imagine what we can do by 2012.
Conservative activists were out in force ensuring fair elections by volunteering as poll observers. Thanks to the tremendous efforts of Tom Weaver and Ralph Zazula of the campaign “Show ID to Vote,” and Tea Party groups across the state that facilitated training sessions and created instructional videos. They gave activists the confidence to speak up if they witnessed tomfoolery at the polls. We knew there would be voter fraud. It’s been happening all over the country. The closer the race and the more desperate the candidate, the more easily fraud can sway an election.
I spent Election Day as a poll observer in the city of Lawrence, where we expected all kinds of nonsense. But, I must say, I saw nothing of the kind at my location. Louie, the A-4 poll warden, and his amazing staff ran a very tight ship and I witnessed their integrity firsthand. The morally challenged, Mayor Willy Lantigua was rumored to be altruistically chauffeuring people to various polling locations. He brought a woman to our location despite her not being registered in that precinct. When the warden offered to call City Hall, Lantigua held up his hand in protest. The mayor then made a series of phone calls, but to no avail. His female companion was ultimately denied from casting a ballot—at that location, at least.
Despite significant losses in the Bay State we managed to repeal the sales tax on alcohol, which we may all soon be partaking more of. Meanwhile, California rejected the bid to legalize marijuana, which I’m quite sure they were smoking when they reelected Barbara (call me senator) Boxer and chose the socially inept Jerry Brown as their next Governor. Although you might never know it from looking at Massachusetts, conservatives won big across the nation. Perhaps our sweetest victory is that Nancy Pelosi will have to give up her gavel of destruction, as she will no longer be the House Speaker.
When the dust settles, Republicans will occupy an historic 63-67 House seats. Our Republican neighbors in New Hampshire took both the House and Senate. Florida turned a deep red. Incumbents Blanche Lincoln, Russ Feingold, Joe Sestak and Alan (die quickly) Grayson will be updating their resumes. And Obama’s former Senate seat went to Republican Mark Kirk. See, even God has a sense of humor!
So, before you call up that real estate agent in New Hampshire, take a little hiatus. Sleep in, disengage and lick your wounds. You might want to lock up the medications and hide the sharp objects for a while. Lie around in your pajamas and binge on Ben & Jerry’s. Eat yourself into a diabetic coma if that helps. Then get yourself back out there– we need you!
Join our Tea Party meeting on 11/10 at 7 p.m. at the North Andover VFW at 32 Park Street to see what’s next. Our featured guest will be the insightful and hilarious Rush Radio talk show host, Jeff Katz.